Casey Calls High Unemployment Rate Among Post-9/11 Veterans Deplorable

Highlights New State-by-State Data on Post-9/11 Veteran Unemployment

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, today released updated statistics on the employment situation for Post-9/11 veterans. Currently, 232,000 veterans who served in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 are unemployed with Post-9/11 veterans now facing an unemployment rate of 12.1 percent.

“The high unemployment rate among recent veterans is deplorable. These men and women have made innumerable sacrifices in defense of our country, yet many are struggling to find employment in today’s labor market, despite their training and experience,” said Chairman Casey. “Making investments to ensure that existing federal programs are helping our veterans succeed in today’s labor market will strengthen the economic security of veterans, their families, and the nation.”

Nearly 2.5 million veterans have separated from active-duty service since September 2001, and many more will follow in the immediate future. The JEC recently released a report, Meeting the Needs of Veterans in Today’s Labor Force, that examines the challenging labor market facing these veterans and underscores the need for effective job search and training programs that will help servicemembers transition to the civilian workforce once they have separated from the military.

“The JEC  report highlights the unacceptably high jobless rate among men and women who have served our country since September 2001,” said Senator Casey.  “These courageous servicemembers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession. This report shows that current federal efforts to help veterans shift from military life to civilian employment are falling short, and Washington needs to do more to educate and train our returning military so they can fully participate in the workforce and help strengthen our economy.”

For the first time, the Joint Economic Committee’s monthly publication, Understanding the Economy: State-by-State Economic Snapshots (most recently released in June), includes a table of the unemployment rates in 2010 for the total veteran population in each state, and for Post-9/11 veterans in each state. The table also includes data on the number of Post-9/11 veterans in the labor force in each state, as well as the number of those veterans who are unemployed.

Last year, Post-9/11 veterans faced higher unemployment rates than the overall veteran population in 35 states and the District of Columbia, with Post-9/11 veterans in Michigan experiencing the highest unemployment rate (29.4%). Nationally, Post-9/11 veterans had an average unemployment rate in 2010 almost 3 percentage points higher than the overall veteran unemployment rate, 11.5% versus 8.7%. In addition, the JEC has prepared a chart that showcases the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on veterans’ unemployment.

Added Casey, “As we observe Independence Day, we must keep in mind those who have fought for the security of our country and we must ensure that we are doing everything possible to help veterans finds jobs when they return home and begin the next chapter of their lives.”